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Adoptive mother of Sherin Mathews walks free

Press Trust of India  |  Houston 

Sini Mathews, the Indian American adoptive mother of three-year-old Sherin Mathews, who was found dead at a culvert in Texas in October 2017, has been released from prison.

After 15 months in jail, charges against Sini for child endangerment were dropped due to insufficient evidence.

"After extensive investigation, it was found that the state cannot prove this matter beyond a reasonable doubt at this time," reads a motion filed by the prosecutors and signed by state District Judge Amber Givens-Davis.

The charge has been dismissed without prejudice, which means that the court can arrest her under the same charges in future, if need be.

When the media asked Sini about her time in jail, she said it was "challenging" and thanked her friends and family for their support.

Asked what was she going to do next, Sini said, "Get situated," but did not reveal whether she was going to her home.

Sini's husband Wesley is still in prison for capital murder in relation to Sherin's death. He will face trial in May and is presently being held on a USD 1 million bond.

Natives of Kerala, Sini and Wesley had adopted Sherin from an orphanage in Bihar in July, 2016. Sherin disappeared on October 7, 2017 and Wesley had initially claimed that he had sent her out in the wee hours as punishment for not drinking her milk.

On October 22, 2017, Sherin's body was recovered from a culvert under a road, about a kilometre from her adoptive parents' house. The cause of Sherin's death could not be investigated as the body had decomposed.

After Sherin's body was found, Wesley had changed his version that he had tried to feed her milk and she had choked on it. He had also admitted that a day before she died, the couple had left Sherin behind and taken their biological daughter, then aged four, out for dinner.

Wesley was indicted for capital murder by a grand jury and for tampering with evidence. Sini was charged with endangering a child. They gave up the parental rights of their biological daughter in January, 2018 and the girl has been with the Social Services since.

An autopsy report in January, 2018 showed that Sherin had died of homicidal violence.

The Indian government revoked the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) for Sini and Wesley last September.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, March 03 2019. 07:55 IST